Commonwealth Bank Series 2012 January 23, 2012

Jayawardene to lead Sri Lanka in Australia

ESPNcricinfo staff

Hours after Tillakaratne Dilshan resigned as Sri Lanka captain from all three formats, the country's new selection panel appointed former captain Mahela Jayawardene in his place to lead the ODI squad to Australia for the tri-series in February involving the hosts and India. Angelo Mathews remains the vice-captain of the 15-member squad which also includes Dilshan.

Jayawardene was ODI captain from 2004 till 2009 (he took over as Test captain in 2006). He resigned in 2009, saying he wanted his successor to have sufficient time to build the team for the 2011 World Cup. Kumar Sangakkara took over from Jayawardene but stepped down after leading Sri Lanka to the final of the World Cup. Dilshan led Sri Lanka for nine months after the World Cup, but resigned on Monday following series defeats in both Tests and ODIs in all his four assignments.

Jayawardene has led Sri Lanka in 97 ODIs, winning 57 and losing 35. Whether Jayawardene is handed the Test captaincy as well remains to be seen; Sri Lanka's next Test series begins only in the last week of March against England at home.

Farveez Maharoof, the bowling allrounder, and Chanaka Welegedara, the fast bowler, were recalled after having last played an ODI for Sri Lanka back in June 2010. The duo were the only changes from the squad for the recent ODI series in South Africa, in place of Kosala Kulasekara and Dilhara Fernando. Thilan Samaraweera, who was ignored for the South Africa ODIs, was put on stand-by.

Maharoof was the leading run-scorer in Tier A of the 50-over domestic Premier Limited Over Tournament 2011-12 with 219 runs from six games at an average of 43.80 for the Nondescripts Cricket Club. He also picked up 10 wickets in the tournament at 17.00 and an economy rate of four. Welegedara has been a regular member of the Test side of late, and has now been rewarded with a place in the limited-overs squad as well.

Rangana Herath and the offspinner Sachithra Senanayake, who debuted against South Africa recently, will form the spin attack. There was no place for Suraj Randiv, who last played an ODI against Australia in August 2011.

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  • Kepili on January 26, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    Changes are good if they are constructive...but I think, Vice-captaincy in both forms should have been rightfully given to most deserving and committed senior player Tharanga, instead of self-centered Mathews. It was a mistake to give him the VC within 2yrs. SL could have won recent series, if Matews didn't waste last 18 balls equivalent to 3 final overs scoring just 16 runs with 12 singles and 1x4 (including 8 balls of the last 2 overs) in the 2nd ODI.This is not acceptable, specially with 5 wickets in hand. This is how he scored during 45th to 50th over: 45th- 1 run - 3 balls, 46th- 2 runs - 3 balls. 47th- 1 run - 1 ball, 48th- 2 runs - 3 balls, 49th- 3 runs -4 balls, 50th- 7 runs - 4 balls Chandimal scored 26 runs facing same number of balls with 3x4 during the same period. SL need players who can give 100% commitment to the team without thinking of any personal gaining or likings. I don't think Mathews got those qualities,!!!

  • Tharindu on January 26, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    I think it's a good point by Rajitha Udayanga. Since Mahela is not in form, it's a really good idea to send him as an opener because he can play freely and it will be a moral booster for him. On the other hand, definitely Dilshan will play a more useful role at no.5 than Mahela. Also Dilshan will be very useful in the powerplay as well... No doubt Dilshan will still do well as an opener too, but looking at the team point of view, it will be good if captain can come to his usual form ASAP since otherwise it will affect the performance of the entire team.

  • Dummy4 on January 26, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    My team for Australian tour is 1.Tharanga 2.Mahela(C) 3.Sanga 4.Dilshan 5.Chandima l6.Lahiru 7.Mathews 8.Thisara 9.Sachitra 10.Kulasekara/Prasad/Maharoof 11.Malinga. Mahela and Tharanga should open the innings for Sri Lanka.

  • Chamira on January 26, 2012, 5:49 GMT

    Just about perfectly sums it up: "No light at the end of Sri Lanka's tunnel"

  • Dummy4 on January 26, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    My Team 1.tharanga,2.mahela,3.denesh,4.dilshan,5.sanga,6.thirimanne,7.mathews,8.perera, 9.kulasekara,10.sachithra,11.malinga

  • Mike on January 26, 2012, 0:36 GMT

    SL should definitely play Tharanga, Dilshan, Sanga, Chandimal, Mahela, Thirimanna, Kulasekara, Malinga, one out of Herath and Senanayaka. So 8 places are already filled. Here we have 6 specialist batsmen & Kulasekara can also bat. As we have only 3 specialist bowlers here no point playing 2 half -bowling allrounders. So SL should play 1 specialist bowler & a bowling allrounder for remaining two places. So it should be Maharoof and one out of Mathews and Perera.

  • kieran on January 25, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    Good news for SL cricket with Dilshan relinquishing the captaincy

  • sean on January 25, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    naturally yes, good way to go for next couple of years. team selection seems all good but duobts about spinners and wouldn't it be better to give a chance to a young upcoming batsman in?

  • Dummy4 on January 25, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    I like if Sri Lanka plays with 1. Tharanga 2. Dilshan 3. Sanga 4. Dinesh 5.Mahela 6.Lahiru 7. Mathews 8. Thisara 9. Kulasekara/ Maharoof 10.Herath /Sachithra11.Malinga... This will be a good combination in fast oz pitches..But if Mathews does not bowl he must be kept out from the team.. will see the three 22 old youngsters playing the fearless cricket..

  • Dummy4 on January 25, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    I like if Sri Lanka plays with 1.Tharanga 2.Dilshan 3.Sanga(wk) 4.Dinesh 5.Mahela(C) 6.Lahiru,7.Mathews 8.Thisara 9.Maharoof/Kulasekara 10.Herath/ Sachithra 11.Malinga If Mathews does not bowl then his place in the team should be vulnerable. this will be a good combination....... u cant drop Lahiru instead of mahela.We could see the fearless batting from three 22 years old youngsters.......

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